Our goal with the rebranding was to create a brand statement, a core brand promise, and a brand personality for FiscalNote as a company: clear, concise language that could be used in corporate communications materials like press releases. Additionally, we wanted to deliver a brand statement and promise for FiscalNote as a platform: language that could be used in sales and product marketing materials. Finally, we needed a message for FiscalNote as an employer: language that could be used in hiring channels.
After deciding on the vision and voice for the future of the brand, we needed to distill it into a toolkit to align current employees and help onboard future employees. Tactically, the deliverable would be a five page brand book and a pocket-sized core card to guide the visual and verbal overhaul of our current brand delivery and to ensure that future brand touch points were consistent with the brand. Most importantly: we needed to finalize it within a few weeks.
I worked with our CEO to create a survey that would be sent to employees. We asked employees the following questions:
What department do you work in?
What does FiscalNote (as a company) do?
What problem does FiscalNote (as a product) solve for customers and how?
After receiving 53 responses across 7 departments, I sat down with two of our cofounders: our CEO and CSO. We printed out almost 18 pages of survey results and encoded them: yellow for words or phrases that fit the brand we wanted to build, and orange for those that did not. We then wrote the words or phrases that fit with our brand that stood out the most often on post-its, and grouped them by theme for each level (company, product, employer) that we needed to craft a brand statement for.
Our brand statement needed to answer the following questions: Why does the company exist? If you met FiscalNote at a party, what would it be like? How does it benefit customers? Why work there?
Here’s a look at our first draft:
Brand Statement: FiscalNote is on a mission to build the world’s most powerful platform to analyze government risk. Every day, we invent the future of law and make government data accessible and actionable for organizations around the world.
Brand Promise: FiscalNote helps you eliminate government risk.
Brand Personality: Elite, Ambitious, Young.
Product Brand Statement: For organizations in heavily regulated industries, FiscalNote is the platform for anticipating and collaborating to mitigate government risk. Companies trust FiscalNote to make better decisions because if its cutting-edge technology, its emphasis on design, and its focus on customers.
Talent Brand Statement: We are a group of relentless and ambitious achievers who are driven by collaborative and challenging work in a fast-faced environment.
Although the words we used were grounded in employee feedback, we wanted to make sure the message, when stitched together, resonated with employees. I selected six employees (Mike S, Gerald, Palmer, Marshall, Vanessa, and Mike M) from different departments and with varying tenures at the company to write their notes on a post-it attached to a printed proof of the core card to offer feedback. Additionally, a near final draft of the brand book and core card was presented at the company all-hands off-site.
One employee felt that a two-sided card wouldn’t be as useful as a one-sided card in a larger format, because he would want to hang it up on the wall next to his desk. Another employee felt that “elite” sounded like bragging and “young” made us sound risky. And others felt that certain sentences or phrases could be stronger or improved to clarify that having the power to take control and strategize would empower our users to turn government risk into opportunity.
When we finalized the language for our brand book and core card, we chose the language that reflected our beliefs and promises to our clients.
In doing so, we also chose the language that reflected our beliefs and promises to our employees.
We believe it’s time to stop clicking refresh and updating spreadsheets to understand if a law might change.
We believe people thrive when they have the power to take control of the risk that policy can pose to their organization and see government changes as an opportunity to grow their impact.
We’re here every day because we are on a mission to make government information accessible and actionable.